"All the world's a stage we pass through." - R. Ayana

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Internal Alchemy: Magic of the Dawn of Ra

Internal Alchemy: Magic of the Dawn of Ra

by John Burke


Everything in nature is in some way linked to everything else. There are physical links of time, space, colour, shape, size etc and there are "different" links; that bind a tool to a craft, the cause to the effect (and vice versa) and even more abstract links of similarity and/or purpose. Nature, just as people, categorises and systematises its actions, via these links. They are all ways for each thing to make its presence felt by the things around it, or if you prefer, the links are the way each thing includes itself in the flow of time/or change on any given "level" of nature. 

Magic goes searching for those links and then gradually develops, first an awareness, then through practical application, an understanding of their purpose. 

Everything is reaching for some form of development; not just people, or for that matter, not just what is normally called living; and in the course of that development, each thing adds to the picture of the whole. Each part, of each part of nature, adds its contribution to the definition of what we call reality. The extent of the definition that each thing has (of itself and reality) depends upon the limits of the "languages" that each thing uses. The definition a rock has must be very different to the "real" (?) world that people see. Even among people, what's called true by one is obvious false to another - or is it?

What we see as real is only one of many definition of reality. To have a totally real image we would have to understand nature from as many different angles as nature itself has developed. We see the definition that has been agreed upon by the society we live in. This isn't a wrong definition, simply incomplete. We don't see its incompletion until we experience something that is outside the usual stream of conditioned perception, and even then the personality of the individual will try to "get around" what it's experienced by many varied and sometimes quite elaborate rationalisations. People have used many systems ranging from faith to logic to enable them to complete their evolution. 

There has always been rivalry and competition between these different schools of thought, especially in the Western world where logic dictates that if something is true then it can't possibly be false. There has always been this rivalry, but only in the minds of the people concerned. Nature agrees with them all, because nature is them all. When the human mind started to explore the purpose of its existence, it not only uncovered reasons (ie found the definition other things gave to humanity) but it created new perspectives (ie the mind re-defined what it saw creating more links).

Because of the different situations we found ourselves in (different climates, physical attributes, food, sex, etc) the definitions (links) we gave back to nature have in them what look like contradictions, due to the different degrees of importance various things have under different conditions. For instance, if you stop three different people who have just come out of a beautiful park on a lovely sunny day and ask what they saw, the first, who might be a young man, may only have seen the girls in the park and in the background he may have been only vaguely aware of the trees. But if the next person is a botanist, he may see only the trees and not notice the girls at all. If you stop a third person who is an artist, she might have seen the park in terms of form and colour, a play of light. All three may have walked along the same path, have the same eyesight, may even be the same age and yet the reality of the park is very different to each.

This is what has happened to our various philosophies and religions only on a much larger scale and over a very long period of time. Up to now we have not had sufficient means of communication to be able to readily see that the apparent contradictions in our major philosophies are products of different cultures. The difference lies in the expression not the basic truth. In the course of your work as a magician you will find that the reality we see as solid, is in fact only that way while our collective (and individual) minds keep it that way. You will see that there is only one God, there are many Gods, and there are no Gods, all at the same time and without any contradiction; just a shift of perspective or a "change of levels". Often this "change of levels" can be simply a change of, or a development of our definition, or the manner in which we express it. On one hand we might say one God, many manifestations, on the other, many Gods, each with one function (but still working together as a whole). Or you could say there is Yin and Yang in states of constant flux. All are saying the same thing; there is an observable order in the universe (not always logical or what we call positive) that can be understood by some part of ourselves and even to a certain degree worked with.

Let's say for example, you take a tribe of primitive people and convince them (one way or another) of the existence of a God of some sort. You give this God certain "attributions". You "describe" your God in as many ways as you can, so that the tribe gets a clear picture of this force/person (making the God a person makes it capable of hearing you and you capable of hearing it). After a while you will find that prayers offered to this artificial God will sometimes be answered. You may even find that at times the God acts upon its own behalf. What's happening?

At first when you "make up" your God the only link it has into our reality is through you. Its sole power lies in your imagination. When you convince the tribe of this God's existence it begins to gain an existence independent of you and your imagination. More and more events that happen are attributed to the actions of this God. In order words, the tribe crates more and more links to the "real" world from the imaginary God until, for all practical purposes, the God does in fact become a working, moving, change causing reality. Later in your work you will see how thoughts not only have form and continuity (the "ideas" and the "stream" of thought) but they have energy and mass as well and this is both changed by the environment and causes change in the environment (which is one way of defining something that's real).

Magic is leaning to use this ability to pool the forces of our minds, to change our environment to one that suits us better. This is not "new", it's the way mankind has always developed. First, someone develops a concept (puts together things/experiences from outside himself and then expresses them in a different form) then this concept gains energy from constant use, then this energy is "focused" (anything can be used to focus this energy but some things have been used before and are therefore already realised and easier to use) to form a new "God". These Gods don't have to be metaphysical, or even religious; we all know the power of the great God reason, or the even greater god money! These Gods then exert a certain pressure on us and often through us.

Gradually we learn more and more about where we want to develop and how to "fit" that development in with the already existing stream of events. Our concept and use of god forms is developed not only by us, but by the development of the whole universe. As our description of reality comes closer to the description nature gives herself, we say we are becoming enlightened. Another way of stating what we have known for centuries is that if you take an active, positive interest in you development, nature responds by allowing you greater freedom from her own ways of forcing development (which are sometimes rather rough).

It is easy to see nature as "already developed" and life gradually being moulded into a pre-determined pattern, but this is in fact a two-way exchange. The microcosm (us) is developed by the macrocosm (everything else), but the macrocosm is just as really developed by the microcosm.

The god forms we create, out of political parties, social ideals and the absolute faith most people have in material sciences, are extremely powerful thought forms. 

They can and do affect the whole balance of energy, not only for this planet, but the entire solar system, and more. Here again, these systems/ideas are not really wrong, they are incomplete. Their one-sided truth, coupled with the force of the millions of minds that give them energy have led all of us to the brink of yet another disaster in our long history of disasters. We are at the edge of destroying the delicate balance of life on this planet through the technology that we created and now can no longer control. Technology itself is not evil but it must be balanced by psychic and soul development so that you can talk to and gain advice from the land and other levels that you affect with each action.  Obviously, we can no longer afford to devote our life energies to such dangerously destructive gods. Equally as obvious is the fact that you can't change the world over-night, so the magician does neither.

The solution is much simpler. All we have to do is balance the more destructive sides of our social gods and integrate them with internal soul and psychic development so that we can put them into proper perspectives. They are destructive because they give a false and frustrating picture of what you need to make you happy. Modern man (in customary fashion) recognises half of his needs.

(1) Physical survival both as an individual and as a society
(2) Sexual/social contact.

The half we don't work with, we 'hand over' to the system.

The next two drives/energies that we give/sacrifice to our technological gods are:

(3) Self esteem: in this drive is held the power to create; it is necessary for the artist to believe she/he is capable of creating a "special" part of the environment. In our society it is almost a sin to enjoy your own creativity. May artist have been lost to the world because their artistic drive is suppressed and channelled to give still more energy to religious and political systems.

(4) Self knowledge: our leaning at schools, socially and in work situations is directed towards satisfying the first two drives or towards fitting in more and more with social values (material successes, careers etc). The niches or roles people find themselves in, gives less opportunity for self expression and therefore self knowledge, yet this is perhaps the strongest drive of all. It is the objective, the reason for all three of the other drives (physical survival, sexual/social contact and self esteem).

In people, nature is trying to develop part of herself so that she can fully realise her own beauty. Unless we try to recognise and work with the whole of our internal and external environment, she could allow us to destroy ourselves. But we have got the choice. Mankind knows lots of ways to bring about harmony. You can learn to become more sensitive to the patterns and flow of the energies that surround you and make up your own body and mind. 

Once you become aware of your own inner strength you are prepared to take responsibility for your actions. You make your own moral code - in magic there is no supreme father that dictates right and wrong, you practice the art of being honest with yourself. This is trickier than you think. It is difficult and takes some time to undo society's conditioning and you must be careful of what you throw away. You also have to remember that you need other people and they need you.

Sit (or lie) quietly, in a comfortable position, in a clean room, where as much light as possible has been shut out (take care against moving or deep shadows) with perhaps some soft classical, modern metaphysical rock or classical Indian music on - breathe very deeply and very relaxed - try to get your breathing to come from very deep down - breathe with your abdomen (as it is pushed out it pulls the diaphram down and expands the lungs to form the in breath and vice versa) - try to get it to be very even, no sudden gasps.

When you feel you are sufficiently relaxed, let your mind wander quickly, but smoothly BACKWARDS over your day; Don't dwell on problems, simply acknowledged them and pass on. Don't get stuck in the good parts either, just look, don't think about things too much. When you get to your waking up then more slowly come back through the day and as you come to what you think are the key points in each situation, try to think of the intensity of the moment, whether you are taking in energy or giving it off, if your mind direction is in on itself or out to the environment. Then try to translate the feeling into a colour - take each of these focus points one at a time, don't spend too much time on each. Don't work it out, try to evaluate each point by seeing its colour, not easy at first, but it comes with practice. When you've looked at the whole day, try to choose one colour that you feel was that day's colour. 

You will find that you have a particular colour pattern which will show you the type of intensity of the links you use to keep yourself in this "level of reality" Don't try to work out what the colours mean just yet. Try to see them as a pattern rather than reason.

This ritual can teach you how to clear and cleanse any knots or badly handled energies by translating problems into a basic archetypal language that knows neither good nor evil. It is the ritual of 'untying karma'.

To record the results, you could start a diary, in which you put a record of the colour and anything you feel is important, that you didn't fully understand, or that was seen from a different angle (including new things). This book should have a black cover and be sealed front and back. When you are not using it, you should keep it above shoulder height in a safe place. The names around the circle on the front are HERMES TRISMEGISTUS and TEHUTI THOTH - the first teacher of magic. 

The 'seal' is a filter and a shield that works both ways. It shields others from your unpractised power and it helps you cope with the influx of pressurised and distorted energies that the universe will allow to flow to you once it realises that you are increasing your rate of evolution. This influx is often seen as an attack - it is not.  To cause your transmutation takes a lot of energy, energy that is usually suppressed and held off. When it is first released it is distorted because it has been under pressure.

Later you will learn more sophisticated methods of distilling this, but for now make a silver (the purer the better) copy of this talisman. You can etch or scratch or engrave the design but you must do it! As you work on it be conscious of what you are doing. The overall circular shape is to help the energy flow. The three circles on the front represent the three alchemical essences – Spirit - Soul - Body

The spirit or godhead is given direction and focus by the three names (two written and one pictogram) of the giver of knowledge. Thoth was later - like most gods - misinterpreted. His love of alcohol as a means of alchemically releasing the spirit was corrupted into an excuse for alcoholism. His knowledge that nothing can be 'owned' only worked with as a friend, has been used to justify thieving. Both of these aspects must be clearly distilled as you invoke his help by marking out his names. Concentrate rather on his abilities to instil wisdom.

The second circle is the soul - the binding force that travels through your many incarnations. Here we find an ankh or a cross of life channelling the life-force of the pentagram ever onward and upward. The four Maltese crosses, the four elements, fix and give power to the other four points of the pentagram. Inside the final circle is the pentagram itself - the perfected person and in the centre of this you put your name, initial, a gem or anything that you feel designates you.

On the back of the side you wear closest to your skin is the hexagram, the Shield of David. This is given two directions, both the divine spirit coming down and your life experiences going up, by the two ankhs at the top and bottom. The upward movement of expanded consciousness is emphasised by the vertical line in the upward triangle. The cross that putting this line in causes is symbolic of rebirth and resurrection. The other four Maltese crosses contain and filter the energies of the remaining points.

This talisman should be made as the moon grows to fullness and can be worn at the throat (the seat of power - your voice) or on the inside of the wrists (the source point of the 'spirit fire' acupuncture meridian).

The whole talisman reflects both actually and allegorically the crystal structure of the basic DNA molecule.

If you make a new and better seal, and you want to get rid of your old seal, or any magical tool, the safest thing to do is to make a gift of it to the ocean or a deep running river if it cannot be burnt. Cut off any links with a visualised razor sharp sword. 

As you concentrate on the talisman to etch (or whatever) the design into the metal, your perception of the surrounding "field" of perceived objects become more and more "fuzzy" or less defined. If your concentration (attention to detail) is sufficient you will see that a "mist" or blue white haze develops around the talisman. This is the result of the normal flow of ethers flowing up and out of your internal reality and not being translated into or projected/attached onto external objects.

Both the size and the detail of the talisman are important in manifesting this "live field" of etheric substance around your focus. The smaller and more perfect the talisman the greater the amount of unused etheric substance that surrounds it and the stronger the talisman's action becomes. We have found that for most people the optimum size is about 1" to 1 -1/2" diameter. Any smaller and most people lose detail. When you have your concentration centreed and the field builds up - at a certain point you will notice that criss-cross lines start to form in the mist. Visualise these forming diamond patterns of intersecting energies. 

With some practice in your visualisation you will be able to make alternative diamonds black and white - like a chess board. This will anchor the etheric energy to (and through) the talisman. Remember, this is done while the talisman is being inscribed so you must do it yourself.

The principle of creating "field" should be incorporated into every talisman that you make.  


Chapter 1
Copyright 1978 by:  JOHN BURKE
ISBN 0 9596112 1 5

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  1. I have an original copy of John Burke's Internal Alchemy - Dawn of Ra, complete with battered gold inlayed cover and pasted in colour images. Please post if you also have one. Regards Jim.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hi Jim, I had a copy, lost along the way.
      I was part of the Dawn of Ra group, I helped cut out the colour images pasted into the books.

    3. There were two editions - The Dawn of Ra and Internal Alchemy; both had colour plates but the first edtion was pasted up by many enthusiastic neophytes and initiates. ;)
      There is a rumour that some new works by the inimitible John Burke are about to appear!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. We have had to remove a defamatory comment by an anonymous poster - unfortunately. We can't abide ad hominem attacks here - even if defamation laws were not as onerous as they are in this juristiction, such opinions are irrelevant to the article. Comments on the material presented will always be accepted but bald insults and character assassination will not - whatever the motive behind them.

  4. The truth is the truth, i was there you were not.

  5. Yes I am the infidel, the unbeliever, are you going to come and cut my head off?

  6. You removed my post because the truth that i lived through, goes against the fantasy that you believe in.

  7. Where are you, are you afraid to talk to me?

  8. Your a coward, you do not want to know the truth.

  9. OK, you will not hear from me again, i will leave you in your dream.
    Mind stuff only leads to more mind stuff, it is not complicated.
    Let go, accept the now without question, and the piece and joy of being is yours.

    1. 1) A comment box isn't a chatroom; we don't receive realtime notification, so please be more aware of where you are.
      2) Defamation is easy, pointless and unpublishable for avariety of reasons, legal and ethical; your comment didn't refer to the article in any way.
      3) If you 'were there' it's a surprise you don't recognise the name of the person who publishes this site.
      4) You are one of over 400 members of the Dawn of Ra and it's no surprise that many had (and have) differing experiences, epiphanies and challenging times confronting themselves. After all, the magi create their own reality.
      Please comment on the material in the article if you do decide to manifest here again.

  10. Much later on I am amazed that the photograph is this article is of me. I am holding the Moracca. I would love to be in touch with some of the people I went through the Dawn of Ra with even though life is very different now. I think us of the Akashic groups dispersed and some of us did amazing things. I now live a very quiet life married happily - but I will never forget those days _ John Burke was one of a kind! Regards Robin.

  11. I have a copy of the first edition of Internal Alchemy. Thank you for the teachings John, by the way. I have 'good' memories of that time. From what I recall, some people who were experiencing their own growth pains and pleasures often 'blamed' the teacher/mentor rather than take responsibility for their own choices.


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